Multi-Channel marketing is the strategic planning and tactical execution of marketing campaigns across multiple channels, including computer, mobile, text, television and direct mail. Working across multiple channels can be a confusing endeavour, but with the right knowledge and strategy, you can use multi-channel marketing to grow your brand.
Why implement multi-channel marketing?
60% of companies that adopt multi-channel marketing see their revenue rise by about 10%. Interestingly, 72% of consumers prefer multi-channel marketing as opposed to a more siloed approach to marketing channels. It makes sense – consumers are engaging across many platforms and so should brands.
Multi-channel marketing is also useful for franchises or Local Area Managers (LAMs) that need to balance the competing demands of different franchisees within the overall marketing structure. Under the right strategy, brand awareness content pairs easily with location or time based digital content. It’s not always easy, but it does provide value for money, and has a proven track record of success.
Benefits of using multi-channel marketing
So now we know why we should use multi-channel marketing, Let’s look at some of the benefits in more detail. Megan Marrs recently highlighted some key advantages for brands that use multi-channel marketing:
- More attention – Brand recognition across multiple platforms adds a sense of value and trust. Just as consumers interact across various social channels, brands that are savvy through different mediums appear socially aware and relatable.
- Choice of Medium – buyers have unique habits. Some may prefer to shop online but want to browse a catalogue before choosing. Others may see you first on the television but want to find out more elsewhere. In fashion retail it’s not uncommon for customers to browse online, try on in the store and even return online to finalise the purchase. This brings us to the next point –
- Brand Consistency – While different channels demand different types of content, marketing across multiple channels will drive home a consistent message if your strategy is on point.
- More Data – More touch points in your sales channels means more data collection to collate and cross reference. Ultimately, this leads to better predictive models and more efficient marketing.
- Reaching new markets – Using a new medium could initiate contact with a new market, different age groups and demographics tend to have their own engagement patterns.
Potential issues with multi-channel marketing
Marrs also identifies a number of challenges marketers face when marketing across multiple platforms
- Too many moving parts – Marketing though a number of sales channels means thinking laterally about the logic and cohesiveness of your campaigns. It’s also harder to identify efficiency and effectiveness. Sure, goals were met, but are there areas that need improvement? With so little time and so much to look after, optimising cross-promotions can be a daunting task.
- Increased costs – This is the big one. Without a carefully coordinated strategy, the costs of multi-channel marketing can skyrocket.
- Budget creep – Multi-channel marketing can run up the costs of your marketing budget, and just as the gains can be exponential, so too can the loses if the planning is poor or the strategy off base.
Multi-channel marketing best practice
Now that we know the benefits and potential challenges of multi-channel marketing, let’s look at some tips for how multi-channel marketing can grow your brand.
Pairing the right channels
Effective multi-channel marketing requires an understanding of the types of channels that work well together, as well as the times they are effective.
For example, computer and mobile work well together during the standard Mon-Fri 9-5 work week. At any given time there are people at the office browsing the net and checking their smartphones. But what about after work? The two screen effect works better through television and mobile in the period after work. When we’re at home we watch television and are less active on our computers.
Quality reporting on your budget
We’ve already covered budget blowout as a potential pitfall for poorly managed multi-channel campaigns, but how you qualify your budget is just as important. In a franchise environment in particular, you’ll want to consolidate your spend across channels in a single system to better track the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaign. Data consolidation also means more granularity in your data collection. That can only be a good thing!
A step in the right direction
If your marketing strategy isn’t producing the kind of return on investment you’re hoping for, you will need to assess overall strategy and how you’re collecting data. Multi-channel marketing can certainly be a step in the right direction, but you might need some help in different areas. Bring some collaborators into the mix – team members from IT, in store design etc are a good place to start, and tweak your budget and process across channels and time zones for better results.